Monday, February 02, 2009

Systemic decisions. . .systemic results

The children of Dallas, Texas grow up in at least two very different communities.

At a meeting not long ago, I sat transfixed, staring at the E. T. look-alike outline of the map of our city. The red portion of the city map indicated areas of high poverty. The green sections marked out the affluent parts of town.

The red overwhelms the green, as well as the "in between" sections of blue.

The facts back of the colors startle anyone who cares about quality of life issues and the city.

Consider:

Poverty among households with children--almost 50% of the households in South Dallas proper; over 25% in the much larger Southern Sector; and a little above 15% in the Northern Sector.

Jobs per 1,000 people--a little under 300 in South Dallas; right at 200 in the Southern Sector; almost 900 in the Northern Sector.

Annual payroll (in billions)--way, way under one in the South Dallas; a little above 4 in the Southern Sector; a bit above 35 in the Northern Sector.

Houses older than 50 years--over 60% in South Dallas; just under 40% in the Southern Sector; 20% in the Northern Sector.

People with less than a high school diploma--right at 50% in South Dallas; 45% in the Southern Sector; a click above 20% in the Northern Sector.

Average SAT scores--to the north, 1102; in the south, 777.

Care to venture a guess as to which sector is doing better?

Our city's history of racism, classism and segregation, as well as our unwillingness to confront our past and to craft just policies and provide adequate resources to address these crippling problems, explains much of this hard reality.

We've much work to do. Much needs to change in the way things are set up and systematized.

[SOURCE: Institute for Urban Policy Research, University of Texas--Dallas]

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4 comments:

JoeBlow said...

Do you have a link to these maps and the data?

m_l_b_b said...

Me too. I can carry the map around (to start a discussion) more easily than citing statistics, no matter how important

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Larry James said...

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